Mont Ventoux race cut to single ascent due to storm risks

Ruben Guerreiro on his way to victory at the 2022 edition of the CIC Mont Ventoux
Ruben Guerreiro on his way to victory at the 2022 edition of the CIC Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

The CIC Mont Ventoux race has been shortened, with the second ascent of the 'bald mountain' cut from the route due to the risk of storms. 

Tuesday's one-day race, formerly known as the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, was set to feature a double ascent of the mountain that is among the most legendary of the Tour de France

However, the threat of storms later on Tuesday afternoon have made the second ascent of the exposed climb, which would have been the summit finish, too risky.

The race will still finish atop Mont Ventoux, but after 99km of racing, rather than the proposed 154km, and at around 13:30 CET.

"Due to adverse weather conditions, the finish of the race will be taken at the summit of the Ventoux after the first ascent," read a statement from the race organisers.

"We have taken this decision to ensure the safety of the riders, which is our priority. We are naturally a bit disappointed, as the organisers, not to have the route we initially set out, but this decision is the wise one."

CIC Mont Ventoux

The original race route - it will now finish at kilometre 99 (Image credit: CIC Mont Ventoux)

The CIC Mont Ventoux was first raced in 2019 and has centred on the so-called 'Giant of Provence', which can be climbed from three directions. 

The best-known ascent is that from Bedoin, which is the one that has been cut as the finishing climb of Tuesday's race. The riders will instead ascend from Sault, which is longer and less steep overall, but which does still link up with the Bedoin route at Chalet Reynard, the point at which the road emerges from the trees and onto the striking windswept upper reaches of the mountain. 

Overall, the ascent from Sault measures 24.3km at 5%, although it's much more severe in the final 6km from Chalet Reynard. The climb will begin after just 74km of racing and, given the relatively gentle gradients on the approach from Sault, a larger bunch is to be expected for a more explosive dash up the top of the Ventoux.

There are 16 teams on the start list, among them six WorldTour outfits: Movistar, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, AG2R Citroen, Cofidis, and Arkea-Samsic.

Second-division Israel-Premier Tech line up with Chris Froome, who has his own history with Mont Ventoux, winning there in 2013 en route to his first Tour de France title, and then dramatically running up the mountain on a chaotic - and similarly stormy - ascent at the 2016 Tour. 

The previous winners of the CIC Mont Ventoux are Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) -  also taking part in this year's race, Alexander Vlasov, Miguel Angel Lopez, and Ruben Guerreiro. 

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.